Make Your Life a Priority by Making Time for Fun AND Achievement
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Stress Management Coaching
Many people seem to think we have to live our lives on a dual track. There's work where we strive to achieve great things. And then there is home where we spend the time we are not at work.
For too many people, it seems like life offers two choices: achieve goals or enjoy life. But, unfortunately, neither one of them ever seems as if they are one hundred percent fulfilled.
How many times have you caught yourself saying you don’t have enough time or there isn’t enough time in the day? Is this true? There are many books written on the subject of how to be successful AND achieve happiness.
If you’re like most people, you probably think these ideas are for other people. Maybe you think you have to be extraordinary to live an extraordinary life.
Today, the demands of work, career, education, family, and homeownership seem to prioritize relaxation and enjoyment. As a result, relaxation time may have to be scheduled as a once-a-month outing or even an annual vacation.
Even then, work often encroaches on time off unless you commit not to let it.
Maybe you are waiting for retirement to enjoy your life. A lot of people do that. Unfortunately, many workers feel as though they are waiting for life to happen rather than creating the life they want now.
Do you wish you had more time to achieve your goals and even more time to enjoy life? If so, you are certainly not alone. Here is part of a special report on prioritizing your life and making more time for both achieving your goals and enjoying your life.
If you think about life being balanced, you might envision a seesaw from a children's playground. First, think of how the seesaw works. If one child is a lot heavier than the other, it's hard to have a good time. You don't get that easy back and forth that makes being on a seesaw fun. You need two children of about the same weight on the seesaw to make it work properly.
Think also of the ups and downs of the seesaw. Life can be a lot like that. You might feel like everything's great, and you're on top of the world until something comes along to make everything go down. Things like losing a job, losing a loved one, finding out you're ill...these are the things that can bring you down in a hurry.
What does it mean to be in balance if life has its difficulties? When you are in balance, you maintain your equilibrium while life’s ups and downs visit. Then, of course, you go through the various emotions as circumstances, both good and not so good, work their way through your life.
Being in balance means you get to choose how long you stay in the down position, however.
Of course, realistically, you can’t always stay up on the seesaw of life, but you can choose how you feel and what your action steps are going to be while you’re down.
Being in balance means intentionally--no matter how hard it is--choosing how you will show up under any given circumstance.
How do you really achieve balance? You can achieve balance in several ways:
Feel your emotions and move quickly through them – it’s perfectly fine to become emotional when the roller coaster of life gets too fast and too furious. Feel what you need to feel, but move quickly on to the next step. The next step after a feeling is action. If something doesn’t feel right, chances are it isn’t right. So the next logical step to create more space in your life for fulfilling goals and time for enjoyment is action.
Choose an action step to recreate the scene. If you’ve lost a job, fire up your resume. If your home needs a repair, start asking family and friends for referrals to contractors. Don’t just sit and stew. Take the appropriate time to recreate what happens next. The faster you barrel through the downs of life, the sooner you can get back up. It’s simply a matter of gravity. Put those feet on the floor and bounce that seesaw up once again.
Don’t regurgitate facts and stories repeatedly – the more you talk about what happened, how unfair it all was, and what a nuisance it was, the more energy you expend on it. This energy could be used for better purposes. You can create an answer to the problem, and you can spend that much more time enjoying your life, setting and achieving goals.
If you find yourself faced with a problem, take the energy needed to create some answers rather than dwell only on the issue at hand. We all use energy to get through the day's events. However, we get to choose how much energy is spent on each project. Look at your life. What is going well? Do you have an amazingly successful career or education? If so, then you might be spending all of your time and energy in that one area, and the rest of your life is completely out of balance, from family to personal relationships.
Sometimes, the unexpected can throw you off. So how do you hit the reset button when life throws you a curve and knocks you off balance? Sometimes truthfully, no matter how hard we try not to dwell on something, we fall back into patterns of thinking and talking about something. So what do you do when you can’t get the needle off the record and are stuck? Call a friend and get an accountability partner.
Ask someone you know to reroute you when you are stuck. Ask them not to let you dwell on what happened or what you cannot control and help you return to present moment status.
Sometimes all it takes is someone to remind you that, in this present moment, you are fine and all is well. Of course, you might not have the answers to what will happen in the future, but anything is possible.
Make a choice and make some change. If you really want to achieve your goals and enjoy life to the fullest, you must choose where your energy will go. So please make a choice that seems best at the moment and follow through with it.
If it doesn’t work out, don’t hold yourself to task because, in human nature, there is always a choice. You may not like all the choices, but staying stuck won’t ever work. So instead, choose with the information you have before you and take action steps toward that choice.
You will find yourself balanced until a more optimal choice presents itself. But, at least you are not standing still, and you are taking action steps toward a solution instead of constantly focusing on or talking about the problem.
It is okay to be out of balance on occasion. Sometimes there’s a big project at work or a special event at home. You are out of balance because that event or project takes priority. For example, a special event, like a wedding, takes a lot of time, but it will eventually be over. A home repair or project will come to completion, as well.
An annual meeting at work will soon be nothing but a distant memory. Sometimes it’s your season to work like a dog to get the job done. It’s okay to be out of balance for a while on occasion. Remember, however, it only takes a few minutes every day to get closer to a goal. One small action step is better than no action at all.
However, it’s perfectly fine to be out of balance due to a special meeting, function, or life. You can still create a daily habit of taking one small actionable step toward a personal goal, dream, or desire.
No one is perfectly balanced 100% of the time. The key to living a balanced life is to make it a priority and to get your back into balance as soon as you can after you have been knocked out of balance. It takes practice. It takes persistence. But it can definitely be done.
Until next time.